For current students and faculty/staff

NHTI Highlights More Miss New Hampshire Student Accomplishments

Rose McKeen and Xanthi Russell, NHTI students and in the running for Miss New Hampshire
Xanthi Russell and Rose McKeen, two of three NHTI students in the running for Miss New Hampshire

CONCORD – Something beautiful must be in the water at NHTI – Concord’s Community College: After our bio of Jillian Mars, two additional Miss New Hampshire candidates came forward wanting to tell their stories. Rose McKeen is in the Business Administration program at NHTI, with plans to own and operate a dance studio, and Xanthi Russell is currently enrolled in NHTI’s Paralegal Program with plans to graduate in 2025.

So what makes NHTI such a destination for these smart, capable young women to begin their career? We’ll let them tell you in their own words.


Tell us about what in your life brought you to NHTI. Why did you choose us?

ROSE: I choose NHTI because I wanted to attend college without having to worry about expensive college fees. I wanted to stay close to home and be able to pay for college myself. Luckily, I’ve been able to use my Miss New Hampshire scholarships and pay off all of my community college fees.

XANTHI: After initially pursuing a more traditional college experience and feeling stifled yet eager to enter the workforce, I made my way to NHTI. I feel rejuvenated and have grown to love this community of faculty. They are invested in each student receiving a high-quality education that appropriately prepares them for the real world.

What made you want to compete for Miss NH?

ROSE: In 2017, I was scrolling through channels with my best friend, and we stumbled across Miss America. The women were so passionate about their community service, and they were talking about how they haven’t had to pay for college. The next day I went online and signed up.

XANTHI: I began competing 6 years ago. I was drawn to the program’s emphasis on leadership and onstage performance. As a 4-H alumna, I grew up with community service, public speaking, and leadership ingrained into me. I also grew up dancing competitively, singing and performing in musical theater. The Miss New Hampshire pillars of scholarship, service, style, success, and sisterhood keep me coming back year after year.

What kinds of community service activities do you participate in on campus?

ROSE: One thing I love about NHTI is that there’s always some community service going on! One of my favorite things at NHTI is the Lynx Closet, [NHTI’s free resources for students who need business-appropriate attire as they begin their careers]. Competing in the Miss America opportunity, I have so many clothes, so to be able to give back and donate them is super special to me.

XANTHI: I’ve participated in NHTI’s Lynx to Leadership Summer program for the last two years and am looking forward to helping to plan it this year. I’ve enjoyed developing my leadership skills to better our school through service projects each year.

Why is public service so important to you?

ROSE: Service is so important to me because we wouldn’t be here without it! My community service initiative is all about breaking the stigma around eating disorders. I donate care packages to those affected by eating disorders, and I have seen the impact it has on them. I am also visiting health classes and talking to students about body positivity and eating disorder prevention, and I have had students have said that my presentation has helped them tremendously!

XANTHI: The term “servant leadership” has been in my vocabulary for quite some time. I consider myself a joy junkie who thrives on helping others, and I believe that leading through service is one of the best ways on Earth to set a good example. In the last year, I’ve completed over 800 hours of community service, and I look for every opportunity to connect with and help others. I’ve been formally participating in community service projects since age 8 including leading 3 international Humanitarian trips to Peru with Generations Humanitarian and speaking to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Board in Washington D.C. regarding teen relationship abuse.

If you could tell someone about your community college experience, what would you tell them?

ROSE: I would tell them to enroll! When I first enrolled at NHTI, I thought I would simply go to class and do my work, and that I would never make any friends. But this truly is a community. I’ve met my best friends here, and it seems scary at first but I promise you community college is worth it. NHTI truly sets you up for success so you can go on and pursue your dreams.

XANTHI: Much like pageants, there remains a misconception around the community college experience; unfortunately, people don’t always see the true value of a community college education compared to that of a traditional 4-year university. The truth is that I have felt more fulfilled, more engaged, and more connected by learning at NHTI. Having experienced both styles of learning environment, I can say with all honesty and enthusiasm that I wish I had started my educational pursuits here.


The Miss New Hampshire scholarship competition features 26 women representing their local communities throughout the state. The event will take place in April 2024 at the Stockbridge Theatre on the campus of Derry’s Pinkerton Academy. For more information about the event and how to attend, visit


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NHTI – Concord’s Community College

NHTI – Concord’s Community College is a dynamic public 2-year college that provides rewarding academics and a full campus experience for students, businesses, and the community. NHTI offers 80+ academic programs to 4,600+ students annually. Our programs include Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Engineering, Liberal and Visual Arts, Education, Criminal Justice, and Mathematics, all with our stellar reputation for academic excellence earned over our more than 50 years serving the Concord community. NHTI is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the NE Association of Schools and Colleges and is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Press Contact           Amber Gavriluk  |  603-230-4001  |


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